Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teachers Told Not to Assume that All Students Have a Mom and a Dad; and Happy National LGBT History Month (in England)!

Something to think about: in public and private schools, our children are in a cultural context in which it is naturally assumed that our children have a "mom and dad"! As one mother told me at a reading from ON BEING A GAY PARENT, one of her twin daughters actually "made up a story" in which she explained to her friends that her father died, but now she lives with two women, even though there had never been another man in a relationship with either mom. The pressure to conform to the nuclear family of a mom, dad, and children--whether it is among students, teachers, or administrators--is so incredibly strong that our own children begin to knowingly tell a lie in order to "fit in," which is especially true among young adolescents who do not want to stand out.

In this article from England, there is the story in which teachers are not to assume that everyone has a "mum and dad" when addressing or meeting students for the first time. This is part of the anti-bullying campaign in England. Imagine that: not always assuming everyone has a mom and dad. Click here to read the article.

Also note: February is national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Month in England! Imagine the United States (under the next President and Congress) have a specific month for celebrating the heroic and thus courageous lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who have helped us, as a nation, make great strides in being a more inclusive can dream, can't he?

Peace, Brett

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